WooHooo! Who’s ready for Camp?! This week was absolutely amazing! We had a wonderful time being involved in the Senior Week of Moose River Baptist Youth Camp. Pastor Hartwig, from Independent Baptist Church in Indian Lake was the dean of camp this week, and he invited me to come and be the speaker for the week of camp. We have been preparing for this week since late February. It was very exciting to see all the work come to fruition. There are too many memories to post up here (we’ll have to save it for several campfires), but we definitely want to recount the major points.
We got in to Lyons Falls, NY late Sunday night after our meeting at Calvary Baptist in Lockport. Pastor Hartwig met us and showed us our cabin. It was the last time I would see Emily that week. lol Not really, but it felt like it. Anyway, we got a pretty good night of rest that night. We met up first thing in the morning with Pastor Hartwig and his wife, and were introduced to the rest of the staff; Naomi, the girls’ counselor, Mr. Sabatini and Mr. DeWitt, the guys’ counselors, Mr. and Mrs. Rohrer, “another elderly lady in the kitchen” and her husband, long-time friends of the Hartwigs, and Doug, Pastor Hartwig’s right-hand-man and enforcer. Pastor Hartwig went over some camp basics with us and prepared us for the campers. Then they began to come. We weren’t sure how many to expect, and they seemed to trickle in for the first hour or so. Then they kept on trickling. And trickling. Before we knew it we had 25 campers, 11 boys and 14 girls. This was a wilderness adventure week, with outdoor camping and hiking. Emily was surprised there were any girls at all. 🙂 Our theme for the week was Genuine Faith, and Pastor Hartwig gave an excellent opening message. He had a number of outdoor wilderness-style activities prepared, which he led the kids in. Tuesday we spent a lot of the morning preparing for canoe training and a trip. We went down to a local river and learned how to swamp our canoes and right them again. The water was pretty chilly, but we had a great time. Wednesday we left for the overnight trip. We drove a couple hours and hiked up a mountain, then spent the night in lean-tos. That night was really neat. We had a couple girls ask Emily questions about Theodicy. Emily then asked me to finish that conversation, and it led to telling Bible Stories for the next hour or so. It was a really neat time. From then on through the week, at every meal, we had a table full of kids asking Bible questions and wanting to hear Bible stories. It was so encouraging and exciting to see the kids so interested.
Thursday we spent a lot of the day on the river canoeing up the Jessup River to Indian Lake. It was a lot of fun, but boy were we sore by the time we got done! It was a huge mental accomplishment to have canoed some 14 miles! A lot of fun!
Friday was a little bit sad, knowing we were bringing our time at camp to a quick end. We had a big banquet Friday night, and that was really neat. The cooks did a great job in preparing the dinner, and we had a fun time being all dressed up. Afterwards we had a longer chapel time with a lot of camper special music. After chapel we had a very respectful campfire out back. Saturday was pack-it-up day, and we headed off to Indian Lake again with Pastor Hartwig.
This week of camp taught both Emily and I a lot about serving, ministry, and kids. It was really a great time, and we are so thankful to the Lord and Pastor Hartwig for giving us this opportunity.